The S.E.C. recently ordered oil behemoth Exxon Mobil to include a resolution on its annual shareholder proxy statement that, if approved by shareholders, would require the company to disclose how its future profitability might be affected by climate change and related legislation. This marked a defeat for Exxon, the world’s largest oil producer, which fought against the proposal. While Exxon suggested that it was too vague and that it already provided adequate carbon disclosures, the S.E.C. rejected those arguments. A company spokesman stated that Exxon would provide the board’s position on the proposal in its upcoming proxy materials. It is questionable whether Exxon’s shareholders will approve the measure, as just last year shareholders overwhelmingly rejected adding an independent board member with expertise in climate change.
FIFA, the international governing body of world soccer, has asked the United States for a return of money seized due to its implication in corruption scandals. The money it seeks totals over $40 million in salaries, benefits, and misappropriated funds that were used as bribes and for other illegal activities. FIFA claims that they are just another victim of the corrupt members of their organization that used this money in exchange for favorable proceedings and kickbacks. They assert that the illegal actions of these individuals have hurt the FIFA name and public image, and that as a result, they are entitled to restitution. In doing so, FIFA finally admits the existence of corruption within their ranks.
The United States Department of Justice announced on Monday, April 11, that it had reached a settlement with Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (“Goldman Sachs”) that would require the global investment banking firm to pay more than five billion dollars in penalties for its role in the housing bubble that many see as having precipitated the worldwide financial crisis that began nearly a decade ago.
Telsa is an electric automotive company founded in 2003 that aimed to change the car industry. Telsa has a unique market strategy to achieve this goal. Differing from the usual car manufacturing company, Tesla focuses solely on electronic car technologies. Another part of Tesla’s innovative strategy to disrupt the incumbent market leaders is direct sales. This difference is a crucial element for Tesla’s success. Having direct sales to consumers avoids the middleman of dealerships, reduces inventories, and better matches consumer’s desires. This valuable market strategy is under constant threat as states like Texas and Michigan attempt to block direct sales.
On March 30, 2015 the California Law Review, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, and Berkeley Business Law Journal welcomed Mitchell Zuklie ‘96, the global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP (Orrick) for a Q&A discussion about his career as one of the country’s leading technology attorneys and his current role managing a major global law firm.
The ongoing technology war involving the conflict between privacy and security has taken a new twist as the FBI hacked into San Bernadino terrorist Syed Farook’s iPhone. Instead of continuing to pursue a lawsuit to force Apple to reveal its encryption secrets, the FBI used an unknown third party to unlock the phone. Apple and news sources have yet to determine the identity of the third party or how exactly the FBI hacked the iPhone. The FBI also has not revealed if they have discovered any material information through the hack.
The housing crisis was a nationwide banking emergency that coincided with the US’s recession in December 2007. The housing bubble burst, which resulted in a steep decline in home prices; this drastic dip led to an insurmountable number of mortgage delinquencies and eventual foreclosures throughout the late 2000s.
But despite nearly a decade having passed, America’s housing market is still very much in recovery after its unprecedented crash. Distressed mortgages continue to fall prey to mishandling and bad faith, particularly at the hands of hedge funds and private equity firms that are “quick to push loans into foreclosure” and shirk on their promises to “keep owners in their homes.”
The California Department of Motor Vehicles approved and implemented a set of “testing” regulations for self-driving cars in September 2014, but has been reluctant to allow much leeway in its “deployment” guidelines. A preliminary draft released in December 2015 outlined extensive constraints on autonomous vehicle design, such as a steering wheel, brake pedal and licensed driver capable of taking immediate control, among other limitations. The draft was a blow to Google who hopes bring its self-driving car to market by 2020 without the traditional manual controls.
The law firm of Squire Patton Boggs announced in February that it had reached a deal to acquire the San Francisco-based law firm of Carroll, Burdick & McDonough. The acquisition will increase Squire Patton Boggs’ headcount of roughly 1,500 lawyers by approximately fifty more and could be complete as early as the end of this month.
In the past few years, law students unable to find employment after graduation sued their alma maters for alleged fraud. The students claimed that their schools defrauded them with misleading employment figures. However, many courts rejected this argument and these cases never made it to trial. A state judge presiding over a case against New York Law School described law students as “a sophisticated subset of education consumers, capable of sifting through data and weighing alternatives.” Many courts in Florida, New York, and Michigan shared this view. Thus, judges generally concluded that law students were sophisticated enough to recognize the uncertainty of legal employment and that they chose a legal education at their own risk.